Adventures down south! Belize puts the emphasis on BREAK when they do Winter Break; school takes 3 weeks off and frustratingly, so does everything else: no football practice, no sailing club, nothing! After the excitement of Christmas celebrations there is a whole lot of aimlessness as far as kids are concerned (I mean, WE still have to work) so I try to beat the boredom and plan an adventure or two. Sometimes you just have to get off the peninsula! We went to Toledo District and had a lovely lunch and lesson with the ladies of Indian Creek. This was a home run and we’ll definitely be returning to take some other tours. Here’s how basket weaving went for the Families of the Placencia Peninsula.
Right next to the archeological site of Nim Li Punit is the village of Indian Creek. You could easily combine a tour of the ruins with a Living Maya Cultural tour right next door. They do storytelling, chocolate making, traditional dancing, and crafting. We enjoyed their delicious catered lunch which was smoked chicken, a plantain mash, and jippi jappa which I’d never had before and was really pleased about. The same plant that they use the mature leaves of to make the baskets from is also a food source- who knew?! The young shoots are tender and slightly woody when sautéed. The kids appreciated the chocolate cake dessert that was served; made from the cacao growing in the yard just a few feet away.
After lunch we were all given some Jippi Jappa fronds and shown how to strip the green bits off and leave the strong fibers behind to prepare them for weaving. We had moderate success with this and it clearly takes years of practice to perfect the technique and grow the proper calluses on your fingers for this intricate work. We used some materials that had been dried and readied ahead of time to try our hands at basket weaving. I want to humbly brag about my aptness for this craft… I have a strong inclination to being a master weaver. I think baskets are in my blood. Look at this:
We finished up our visit with a refreshing dip in the spring at the back of the property. Just above this little waterfall is the pipe that feeds the village’s secondary water source. The kids also really enjoyed this and Louie collected a bunch of small snails to bring home for his Grandfather’s dinner. I never found out how the dinner turned out hahaha.
If you’re planning an excursion to Toledo, I highly recommend contacting the ladies at Maya Rose for a cultural lunch and lesson. Combine it with a chocolate tour or a wander around Luubantun or Nim Li Punit and a stop at the Butterfly House at Hummingbird Farms